Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease charity vows to keep up good work by continuing to help fund care grants

Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir has pledged to keep up the good work being done by the charity he set up after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the end of 2016.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 4:05 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 6:20 pm
Doddie Weir with a portrait of himself now on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Photo: Neil Hanna

The former Scotland international’s My Name’s Doddie Foundation has announced continued support for others, like him, fighting the disease, by making further donations to MND Scotland and the MND Association, its sister organisation serving England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More than 1,000 people affected by the incurable neurodegenerative disorder have already been helped by handouts funded by the foundation, and that support is set to carry on as it has pledged another year’s worth of funding for the two charities’ care grant programmes.

Though most of the money raised by the foundation is spent on studying the terminal condition, it also seeks to help those living with the disease now, many of whom will not live to see any cure or improved treatments yielded by that research.

Its latest pledges mean the 61-times-capped lock’s foundation – set to be boosted by a fundraising London-Edinburgh cycle ride due to stop off in Jedburgh this Saturday, February 8, around 5am – has now handed over £250,000 to MND Scotland and £400,000 to the MND Association.

Scots diagnosed with the disease can apply to MND Scotland for grants to help with the cost of home adaptations – for instance, having ramps, stairlifts or specialist bathroom facilities fitted – and for respite activities for carers and families.

The charity handed out almost £300,000 worth of care grants last year, helping 250 people.

Doddie, 49, of Blainslie, said: “We are delighted to know that we have been able to help so many families over the last two years.

“There are many challenges to living with MND, and it has been my aim to help people in a similar situation to myself live as full a life as possible.

“The grant schemes are vital, and we are only able to help in this way thanks to the amazing support we receive from our fundraisers and friends every day.”

Craig Stockton, MND Scotland’s chief executive, said: “The support from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation is helping us provide vital support to even more families across the country when they need it the most.

“I’d like to thank Doddie and his foundation for their generosity and commitment to improving the lives of those affected.

“Through our grants programme, we are able to remove some of the additional stress that financial worries can cause and allow people to concentrate on living their lives.”

MND Association chief executive Sally Light said: “We are so grateful for Doddie’s continuing support of the MND Association and his determination to make life better for people like himself who have received this devastating diagnosis.

“The generous donations from the foundation and continued partnership with us will make a real difference to those living with MND as well as their carers and loved ones.”

Former Southern Reporter journalist Jill Douglas, chief executive of the foundation, added: “One of our key aims is to give support to families living with MND, and we recognise that the MND Association and MND Scotland have the necessary expertise and experience to administer these vital grants on our behalf.

“They are successful partnerships, and we very much appreciate the relationships and how they enable us to fulfil this important goal.”

For more information about potential grants, visit www.mndassociation.org/grants or www.mndscotland.org.uk/grants

See also ...